Howard Davies has said that Marcus Gronholm should not come out of retirement next year and return to the World Rally Championship as he has already had his shot at the top of the sport.

There have been rumours in recent months that the two-time world champion might get back behind the wheel of a World Rally Car in 2009, but whether there is any truth in it is subject to debate.

Whatever the case though, Davies, who is probably best known for co-driving Gwyndaf Evans to the BRC title in 1996, added that he can't see it happening anyway.

"I don't think it is good when any top line sports personality retires and then comes back," Davies told Radio in an exclusive interview at the Castle Combe Rallyday last month.

"Sometimes it shows a bit of greed and sometimes it shows they can't leave it alone. I have got nothing against people coming back and enjoying themselves. But for Marcus to come back and steal the potential of a young drivers' seat and not actually perform would be detrimental to Marcus' profile and the memory of him.

"Yeah carry on doing your Rally cross and do what you can. But if you have stepped out of the WRC now, you have stepped out. That is my own personal view.

"A lot of people would say something different and that maybe we haven't seen the best of him. But once you have had your stab, your shot and you have given it up, it is unfair to steal a drive that could go to a younger driver because of a whim.

"I don't think he has any desire to comeback however. I just think it is cheap talk. Marcus didn't enjoy the travelling towards the end and he wanted to be at home and he made that decision. He is probably missing it a bit and thinking: 'I wouldn't mind doing a few rallies'. But I don't think we will see him back behind the wheel on a regular basis."

Petter Solberg's co-driver Phil Mills and BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen meanwhile had contrasting views to Davies - and both think Gronholm would still be real asset to the WRC.

"He is one of the all-time greats. He retired winning events. He didn't retire having gone off the boil in anyway. He went out of the business right at the top of his game. He would be rusty, definitely for two or three events, but he would come back and he would be competitive a third of the way through the championship. No question at all. He is a great character and a great ambassador for the sport. I would like to see him back," Mills continued in a separate interview with Radio.

"It would be really, really great," Mikko chipped in. "I am sure he would still love it and all the spectators and fans would love him to come back. He was just such a big character. It would be nice."



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